Monsoon and the 80’s Kids! Memory down the lane
Being born in the 1980s has given me the so-called “80’s kids” diversified exposure to School curriculum, College life, change in technology, Music, Culture, Basic day routine, Bikes, and Cars, the meaning of having friends, and many more aspects. One of the very important, being a witness to change in weather over the last 40 years.
Let’s start with the time when one couldn’t understand rain, cold weather, and warm summers. That’s when the clothes your parents would make you wear, the daytime conditions, or getting terrified by the thunder during a pre-monsoon season
Then, preschool would start around age 5 and schools would open in the same months as the arrival of rain. The comfort of being at home with your parents, especially your mother or grandmother to all hell breaking loose when your school bus – probably an old Volkswagon Mini wagon could come at your house honking in. With most of the kids crying on a high pitch to some being completely confused (what’s happening??)-the wagon would arrive at the school premises. Getting soaked in the rain, and sitting for the classes for a few hours seemed a lifetime.
Then came the happy time when the school bell rang announcing the end of school time and kids rushed to the wagon to get back home. Once home, and fed with sumptuous goodies, it was time to play with the miniature poodles, making paper boats and sending them off in the tiny water streams. (I remember sending such ones in the overflowing gutters too!!)
As time moved on, with the shift in gear from nursery to secondary school, came the change in the way we used to go to school. From riding a cycle with the heavy duck bag raincoats or going to school in the crowded auto rickshaw, the monsoon pattern had also shifted briefly. I remember monsoons as a prolonged period of steady rains, dark gloomy weather most of the time, and heavy rains with thunder at times. With continuous heavy rains, all the prominent rivers would start flooding. I remember Appa (my favorite Kaka) would take us all in a Maruti Van to the river banks or bridge to see the floods. It was one of a
Slowly and steadily, from secondary school to college times around 1997, there was a better understanding of monsoons and it just meant off-road trips to various waterfalls, and jungle treks to explore new water sources. Then, the monsoon was something different. It really didn’t matter if it was raining heavily or lightly. It was pure enjoyment and pleasure. This phase moved quite quickly.
After graduation, times changed. With this, a lot of things were moving ahead, changing rapidly. One of the key parameters was the Weather.
Weather patterns over the last 3 decades have shown a significant change. All thanks to urbanization, industrial growth, and townships mushrooming everywhere. conventional roads transformed into concrete ones growing from a humble 2 lane to 6 lanes,
carbon emissions, deforestation, extensive use of water for commercial and industrial purposes, non-proper amendments of wastewater treatment, oceanic resources being exploited beyond needs, global countries exploiting natural resources at their disposal – and the list could go on…
(All thanks to technology and progress, concrete jungles soon started mushrooming.
Conventional roads transformed into concrete ones.
Humble 2 lane highways were now 6 lanes.
Deforestation, increased carbon emission, extensive Water consumption, ignorance of Water recycling, and unnecessary exploitation of natural resources…. The list goes on….)
The impact was seen, it was slow from a perspective, but the damage and dent to the environment had already begun. This damage is correlated with the damage to the weather patterns. Over the last decade, the shift in weather patterns has been alarming and noticeably visible.
As compared to what is mentioned earlier during the 80s, it is nothing as of today.
The steady rain patterns, pre-monsoon thunderstorms, and average monsoon readings, constant over the years have now changed in an alarming proportion. Monsoon as a season has prolonged. The steady rain patterns have now become kind of irrational downpours. The average rain count reaches a few months. And rains are extending beyond the standard monsoon season—that’s from June to September.
While few do believe this is due to global warming, some still think it’s not. The impact and damage can be seen and no one can vouch for this but it is our farmer friends who have been suffering the most. Erratic monsoon patterns and the rainfall count have been creating devastation in the yield and the ready crop is getting damaged due to unseasonal rains. It’s just not the farmers, many other related professions are getting hampered due to this change in the weather pattern.
For us, Karnataka, the South West Monsoon plays a very important role. Being an agricultural haven for ages, for products like Sugar cane, Soya, Cotton, Tobacco, Spices, Rice, etc. This change in the monsoon pattern is creating a very difficult situation for the farmers to make a steady income.
Other than the farmers, due to uncontrolled urbanization, many organizations – big and small are also getting hampered. Without proper roads and drain water systems, cities are getting clogged whenever there are heavy rains. areas, where no floods were seen earlier, are now, easily getting flooded.
With flood waters washing in the premises, the damage to office equipment, and loss of working hours are now commonly seen. But resuming the establishment back into routine poses an even bigger challenge. post recovery of getting the establishment to get back to square one even bigger challenge..
We have seen a pronounced change in the weather patterns. This change is not sustainable. This will bring in even more damage and we will come to a point where the reversal would be beyond our control.
With little time in hand, we do have the scope to improve the weather by taking small steps. planned urbanization and proper utilization of resources- to start with. Creating awareness to increase flora and fauna, and proper use of water resources. Last but not least, decreasing the waste that we generate. These are the small steps. No one is stopping anyone to work for the betterment of tomorrow. A step toward a better tomorrow is always welcome.
We, as the kids of the ’80s have seen it all. Why can’t we try to give our future generation an experience of what we have enjoyed? It saddens me to see the kids not enjoying this amazing nature and not being aware of what they are missing!
Like they say
We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers. We have borrowed it from our children.
Time to ponder – and a time for awakening– it all starts with Monsoon.
Mr. Shantanu Patil,
The Aviators – Banker, Professional Aviation Photographer, Weather Dynamics Enthusiast, Amature Weather Forecaster, logical thinker, foodie, and home chef!
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